July 2020 – The Long Flight to Bali

I went to southeast Asia in October by myself. I chronicled the first part of my trip in my May post: Encountering Manila. In June IWSG: […]Bali, I shared my first day. I hope you’ll check out the links. The Philippines and Indonesia are beautiful countries and very desirable destinations for obvious reasons.

But before I begin, due to the quarantine and the extreme heat, I’m feeling lethargic, and I’d like to apologize because I think my writing reflects that. I’m certainly not inspired by it.  WestJet cancelled our 4th attempt at flying home for the summer. The only non-WestJet flight I could find will take 3 days (2 overnight layovers) in some of the worst corona hotspots on the continent. That sounds scary and reckless. But can we withstand the heat if we decide to stay?

We had a cooler than normal winter and several mornings I had to wear a sweater.  The wind off the bay kept our little apartment cool, sometimes even cold — until Father’s Day. Then as warned, the wind died. Unless you’ve experienced the shift, there’s no way of preparing for it. We’re Canadians and, as such, we don’t do well in the heat. I still haven’t finished my WIP. I can’t concentrate for more than 20 minutes at a time. I’m behind in my chores, I’m not exercising. I’m unmotivated. My writing seems choppy. I’m napping during the day.

But enough of my whining …

My trip to Bali spanned over 2 days. In late September, I drove from New Brunswick to Manitoba, by myself, then flew to Vancouver. Why? Long story for another day. I keep mentioning “by myself” because it was a huge deal for me. Driving across Canada, then flying to the south pacific. I’d never done anything like this before. Except for the time I drove our motorhome from Whitehorse, Yukon down to Prince George, BC.

When reality set in I almost decided to cancel the trip. Winter was coming. The trip through Ontario can at times be treacherous. I changed my itinerary, drove to Manitoba, flew to Vancouver, and left from there; which saved me 4 hours. If you’re not up on your geography, Vancouver is a 2-hour drive north from Seattle. Winnipeg is about 6 hours north of Bismarck.

I left Canada on October 1 and arrived in Manila at 5:00 am on October 3.

October 2 was spent at 30,000+ feet.

I’m mentioning this because it’s important to take note of how very long these flights are.

If you hope to see the south pacific one day, consider Business Class if possible. And travel at night. The planes have small seats. The best are in the exit isles; however, there are metal armrests that don’t move, and although you have extra legroom, you are snug like a bug in a rug, and only able to recline the seat an inch. You’re sitting upright for what feels like days.  It’s uncomfortable. I’m 5’5 and was the tallest person on the plane. While Business is over double the cost, I bet it’s worth the comfort.

Also, pack light. As I mentioned last month, security is tight. When they tell you to be at the airport 4 hours prior to take-off, you’ll need every minute to get through all the checkpoints. A backpack and a carryon make for quicker inspections; and really, they’re all you need. If that sounds ludicrous, check out the many videos on YouTube on how to survive long flights.

I had planned on sharing my week’s experience at the Blooming Lotus Yoga Bliss retreat in Ubud, but I’ve decided to cut this short and continue in August. Otherwise, you’ll be here all day. And there are so many awesome IWSG bloggers to visit.

Below are some of the photographs I took of the country on our way to the retreat. I was like a kid with my face pressed to the glass. I’d never seen such a contrast in foliage and architecture and landscapes. It made me think of all the young men during the Vietnam War and what they experienced the moment they stepped out of the cargo planes.

As we drove toward my destination and my driver explained as best he could in broken-English what I was seeing, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.

My GPS said 53 minutes, but it was more like 65 minutes in traffic.

 

 

Below is Krishna Arjuna Statue. My photo from the backseat doesn’t do it justice. The road is too busy to stop.

Krishna Arjuna Statue

Similar to North America, there are temples instead of churches on almost every corner.

They’re kites below. Some sort of special event going on. The kites are the shape of fighter planes.

 

I’m not exactly sure, but I think this is the entrance to a park or a hotel, some type of tourist spot.

 

 

The monument below honours  Satria Gatot Kaca, a legendary and powerful knight who is believed to give spiritual protection and safety for all incoming and outgoing flights.

One of the busier corners. Haha, I know, where’s the traffic?

 

 

Scooters are very popular on the island. It’s said there are over 2 million. I think I saw a few hundred thousand.

 

 

Dewa Indera Statue, stands at the junction of the road to Ubud. The colours were brilliant.

Dewa Indera Statue

 

Rice paddles along the road.

Scenic Rice Field Ubud - Picture of Private Tours Bali, Denpasar ...

Many temples.

 

Many, many scooters.

One day a friend from the retreat and I were walking past the entrance to the Monkey Forest. My friend was eating an ice-cream cone. I wasn’t. She was behind me when I heard a loud scream. One of the monkeys had climbed onto her back and was trying to steal her cone. One of the guards yelled a command in a very menacing voice and the monkey jumped down and ran into the forest.

 

 

I asked why some of these goddesses have so many arms and I was told it’s because they represent the power of God.

 

 

IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh — because Alex understands we need a safe place to congregate, insecurity is part of our creative nature, and together we’re stronger.

On the first Wednesday of each month, you can write on any subject related to your writing journey or adopt the option of answering the month’s question. Either way, you’re in safe territory.

If this sounds like a good place to be, sign up here.

IWSG’s Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, a question is announced that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

Remember, the question is optional!

July 1 question – There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?
The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

— namaste

joylene

Comments 45

  1. Hi Joy,
    I love your adventurous spirit and courage to live your dreams. The miles you drove (alone), miles you flew (alone), the foreign countries you visited (alone). The rewards beyond measure. Memories to last a life time.

    I share your misery as we figure out ways to survive these hot and humid days. This too shall pass. We will find a way. Namaste.

  2. Hi Joylene.
    I’m sitting here with a steaming cup of coffee, enjoying the armchair travel. Your pics are beautiful!
    With the global pandemic, and travel constraints, who knows when a person will be able to freely enjoy international travel… *sigh*

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  3. I love the photos. My family is planning early retirement to a sailboat and I can’t wait to get out and explore! We have about ten years left. For now, I will just visit your blog and sit in the AC!

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  4. Joylene you’ve again got some beautiful pictures. I loved the Indera statue.
    Well I do understand your issue with the warm countries. In India we have different climates within the same country . I belong to the hills and it is pretty cold there. Dealing with the heat of the plains is an issue.

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      Sonia, I understand. We have friends in New Guinea, and they are often suffering. My sympathies. I had no idea. It’s one thing to vacation in a tropical climate, it’s something else to actually live there.

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Sorry about your travel woes.
    Thanks again for sharing the highlights of your trip. It’s nice to see this part of the world I’d never considered traveling to. The pictures are great.
    I’m from the southern part of the US and even I can only take so much heat.

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  6. Wow, Joylene, I’m impressed you traveled alone! So brave. It sounds like you’ve had an incredibly interesting experience so far but I’m sorry you’re suffering in the heat. I’ve never been to Bali but the photos look fantastic. Good luck for the rest of your stay! 🙂

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  7. What an amazing arm chair travel tour. Loved the photos. I can only imagine what the places are like in real life. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you traveling mercies.

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  8. The sculptures at first glance almost appear made of ice. So much for the heat. I have a character quote for you. The lead is commiserating with a guy from Las Vegas where it’s hot but dry. The guy’s wife ran off with a textbook salesman from Baton Rouge.
    “If it’ll make you feel any better my dad used to say ‘There’s hell, and then there’s Houston. If the devil thinks you’re a miserable son of a bitch, there’s Louisiana.’”
    You’ll make it out alive. My dad used to say “Never heard of anyone throwing their back out shoveling heat.”

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  9. I am in awe that you made that journey alone. Good on you! It looks like a beautiful place.
    My muse has been very lackadaisical lately too.
    I enjoyed your post:)

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  10. What beautiful pictures and wonderful memories! The “by myself” part resonates with me, because there is something very special about venturing abroad alone. I took a trip to Italy alone a few years back, and it taught me a lot of things about myself as a person – most of them good!

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  11. Such a fun post, Joylene! I think that it is wonderful that you dared to do this trip yourself! I don’t know that I could ever get Terry to spring for a business class ticket. He is such a budget traveler, and that’s a hard habit to break. I always want to be by the window on a plane so I can see. Your photos on your way to the retreat are great. I, too, snap photos from a car or bus window. Digital is so freeing. The statues are incredible, so beautiful, so alien. We always travel as lightly as we can. Don’t be hard on yourself for feeling unmotivated right now. We’re living in unreal times. I do hope that you can escape the heat. I notice that my comments on recent posts haven’t turned up. I hope this one does. Take care! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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      I understand; I’m a budget traveller. I keep thinking about how better to spend the money. But, I’m here to say I was wrong. Econ is fine for short flights. But it’s sorta like travelling in your trunk from Seattle to Boston. Not much fun. Thanks, Louise. Best to you.

  12. Jet kites – how neat. All of the area is beautiful.

    Heat and humidity get to me still. Although it’s better here than it was living in Arkansas. 100 degrees at midnight with almost 100% humidity is just the worst.

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  13. I’m sorry you haven’t been able to get home. As a Seattle-area Washingtonian (far different from the East side of the state), I understand not handling the heat. I wilt in the heat.
    I love to travel and I hope to go to Bali someday, but … someday after COVID these days.
    Thanks for sharing your journeys!

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  14. The statues are amazing. I could spend all day just looking at those.
    For that long of a flight, I’d pay the extra.
    Sorry about the heat. Don’t think I’d want to get on a plane right now though.

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  15. Hi,
    Your pictures are beautiful. Now to your mood. I know it is difficult. I had planned to fly to the USA to see my family. Unfortunately, because of the surge, all flights to the USA have been shut down. It hasn’t gotten that hot here yet. I am still waiting for the summer. So, you can send me some of your hot weather. I would enjoy it. -:) But seriously, hang in there. This is something that you didn’t expect and couldn’t prepare for but it will go by.
    Take care.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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      At least with cool weather you can dress warm. How do you cope if you can’t get away from the heat? I’m sure you’re right though. I’ll either get used to it or fly back home through the States.

  16. Happy Canada Day, Joylene!
    We’re at 36C today and I’m with you – we are not made for the heat Thank goodness for AC!!
    Those pictures are awesome. The statues are beautiful. Love seeing the different parts of world!

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